Unit 3



In this Unit, you will consider several purposes for assessment and a range of assessment methods. Key distinctions in the field of assessment theory will be evaluated and applied to the context of your own school and classroom.

You will be asked to compare the political context of school assessment in England and Wales with assessment approaches in your own country. You will then go on to explore the principles of Assessment for Learning (AfL), a formative approach to assessment which has been developed at King's College, London, by a team of researchers led by Paul Black and Dylan Wiliam.

This exploration will give you an opportunity to deepen your understanding of key concepts in the theory of pupil assessment and to critically evaluate AfL's recommended approaches in the context of your own classroom.

Intended Learning Outcomes

By the end of this Unit, students will have

  • reflected on the purposes of pupil assessment
  • understood the distinction between formative and summative assessment
  • grasped the differences between norm and criterion referenced assessment
  • considered the relationship between assessment and accountability
  • written about assessment approaches in their own country
  • critically evaluated the key components of AfL
  • tested out the usefulness of elements of AfL in their own classrooms
  • considered AfL's underlying philosophy and research basis
  • related the AfL to the key principles of constructivist learning theory